Drum Sander #7: Stuck on Yew

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Blog entry by BritBoxmaker posted 05-20-2010 06:14 PM 5051 reads 8 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: I hear the sound of distant drums Part 7 of Drum Sander series Part 8: One Year On »

I bet you’re all thinking “That darned fool has forgot to cut the little circular dents in the guide rails for when the drum is close to the table”, aren’t you?
Well I haven’t, so there. Here’s how I do it. Now the drum is a nice cylinder I attach two 1” strips of 60 grit to the ends using double sided tape.

Then I wind the table up, slowly, to cut them, so

The 60 grit and tape is then removed. I then applied the adhesive backed velcro ( 4” wide strip), in an anticlockwise spiral to the drum and fixed 150 grit velcro backed abrasive roll to the velcro. Just to be perverse and bridge the small dips at the edges of the adhesive backed velcro I wound the abrasive on in an opposite, clockwise, spiral. Bound the ends on with duct tape.

Fixed the hood and started to play. I tried a tricky piece of Yew. This is the best my planer (jointer) could do with it. Torn grain as you can see

After six or seven 5 thou passes with the sander, 150 grit, 950 rpm this was the result

No torn grain at all.
WOW, you were right, Autumn, I love my sander. I’ve been putting lots of things through it.
Including the Vortex4 pattern I blogged that I couldn’t get the Ebony dust out of the Pau Amarello on. Now its perfect

Steve’s (spalm) idea about putting a lip on the back of the ‘truing’ sled worked perfectly for sanding some small box sides (also Yew), thanks Steve.
What a brilliant tool. I don’t know how I worked without it.
There are some minor things left to do, like a paint job but I think thats about it for this blog. Hope you’ve enjoyed it, I have. Now I’m off to flatten every piece of wood in the shop, bye.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

24 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


5332 posts in 4245 days

#1 posted 05-20-2010 07:08 PM

Yew did it! Cool.

That sled can also be used for flattening warped boards by using shims under the work piece to keep it from rocking until the top is flat, and then removing the shims and flipping the board over. A lot of people use this technique for planers, but it works well for the sander too. I use this technique for cutting boards that always seem to glue up with some twist in them.

But now that you built it, you can modify it by adding a V-Drum type access on the top. Then it will become an abrasive jointer too. (And you thought you were done.)


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Mary Anne's profile

Mary Anne

1058 posts in 3572 days

#2 posted 05-20-2010 07:19 PM

Fantastic! What a grand accomplishment!
What fun to have that feeling of wondering how you ever did without it. Those tools are the best!
And better yet, that you built it and it actually works. :)

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3478 days

#3 posted 05-20-2010 08:08 PM

congrat´s with your new tool
hope it will serve you well
for many years to come


View NewPickeringWdWrkr's profile


338 posts in 3376 days

#4 posted 05-20-2010 08:22 PM

Solid effort! How did you find the resistance of pushing something through manually?

-- Mike - Antero's Urban Wood Designs

View spaids's profile


699 posts in 4056 days

#5 posted 05-20-2010 08:43 PM

This thing is all WIN! Great job. I was looking at specs for commercial drum sanders and saw that the two I looked at (jet, grizzly) both have their drum speeds pretty quick. Have you tried the 2000 rpm speed? You might like it.

-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 3399 days

#6 posted 05-20-2010 09:00 PM

TA-DAaaaa…... That’s how ya do it! Great Job Martyn!!! If you don’t have room in your shop I’ll send you my address! LOL!

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View HighRockWoodworking's profile


182 posts in 3342 days

#7 posted 05-20-2010 09:13 PM

Great job! The sander looks great and you get the satisfaction of building it yourself! Hope you really enjoy it!

-- Chris Adkins,

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3399 days

#8 posted 05-20-2010 10:07 PM

Mike, resistance is futile. No seriously no problem even with the oiled MDF table. Its good to have the tactile feedback. Table seems to be holding up quite well.

spaids, not yet it looks fierce though. Should be good.

Sorry Coz its mine, all mine.

Thank you all for your positive comments

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View littlecope's profile


3072 posts in 3865 days

#9 posted 05-20-2010 11:04 PM

May your sanding go ever smoothly, my Friend!!
Great Build!!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3349 days

#10 posted 05-20-2010 11:42 PM

Looks great! And super useful – and not too difficult.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14181 posts in 4346 days

#11 posted 05-21-2010 12:00 AM

looks great and it is fun you got it working so well

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View patron's profile


13648 posts in 3704 days

#12 posted 05-21-2010 02:58 AM

great job there , martyn .

and in record time too .
proud for you !

now you can suffer even less for your arts sake ,

way to go ,bro !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View blackcherry's profile


3339 posts in 4186 days

#13 posted 05-21-2010 03:15 AM

Great work and accomplishment now it’s play time!

View jm82435's profile


1285 posts in 4105 days

#14 posted 05-21-2010 03:35 AM

I think once you have one you would never be without one again. The results speak for themselves – great job.

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3399 days

#15 posted 05-21-2010 07:09 PM

2000rpm, fast, fierce but FUN!

You can feed twice as fast. You get a more uniform finish. You also get loads of dust (I’ll have to uprate my dust extraction) and accelerated wear of the abrasive.


You could grow old waiting for the piece to be sanded.

950 rpm

Good compromise. Speed vs. dust. Minimal abrasive wear.

Still good having the choice though.

Materials cost £74.43 (I’ll leave you to work it out in your local currency) but weigh this against the general cost of a small commercial machine of around £550, locally.


-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

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